The President of the Board of Lambda Literary Foundation, S. Chris Shirley, published his first book with RAB/Magnus Books. Playing by the Book was included in The Advocate's 10 Great Summer Reads and Kirkus just named Shirley "an author worth watching."
Playing by the Book is about seventeen-year-old high school newspaper editor Jake Powell, fresh from Alabama, who lands in New York City to attend Columbia University's prestigious summer journalism program. For Jake, it's a dream come true, but his father, a fundamentalist Christian preacher, smells trouble. And his father is rarely wrong.
Jake navigates new and unfamiliar ways "up North,” starting with his feelings for a handsome Jewish classmate named Sam. What Jake could keep hidden back home now rises to the surface in the Big Apple. Standing by his side are a gorgeous brunette with a Park Avenue attitude and the designer bags to match, a high school friend who has watched Jake grow up and isn't sure she's ready to let him go, and an outrageously flamboyant aunt who's determined to help Jake find the courage to accept love and avoid the pain that she has experienced.
“Playing by the Book adds an important new voice to Young Adult fiction. S. Chris Shirley has written a highly personal story about the intersections of sexuality and Christianity that he's ideally suited to tell. The novel's protagonist, Jake, reminds us that coming out as gay remains a big deal for people raised in religious fundamentalism,” says Magnus editor Don Weise. “It's not an easy path, as Playing by the Book makes clear.”
Alex Sanchez, author of The God Box and Boyfriends with Girlfriends says, “In Playing by the Book, S. Chris Shirley tells a story I loved curling up with, featuring one of the most endearing teen protagonists I've read in years.”
Provocative and moving, Playing by the Book is a feel-good novel about the joy and heartbreak we encounter in the search for our own truth.
About S. Chris Shirley
Chris is an award-winning writer, director and President of the Board of Lambda Literary Foundation. He directed Roger Kuhn’s music video, “What’s Your Name,” which aired nationally in the US and made the annual MTV-Logo Top 10. He also wrote and directed “Plus,” an award-winning short film that played at film festivals internationally.
He graduated from Auburn University where he served as photo editor of The Auburn University Plainsman. He later received a graduate degree from Columbia University and studied filmmaking at New York University. He was born and raised in Greenville, Alabama, and now resides in Manhattan. Playing by the Book is Chris’ first book. Visit Chris online at http://schrisshirley.com/.